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Re: What is happening with the update of section 508?


From: Ryan Hemphill
Date: Nov 29, 2011 2:24PM

> We need to be responsive to these changes so we provide
> optimal accessibility rather than merely compliance to a set of
> guidelines.

Define who is going to be responsive...us? No offense to everyone here but
we don't matter. It's the greater development/design community at large
that needs to become responsive, and I don't see anything about 508, WCAG
or anything else that is going to inspire a response.

I'm not even sure that compliance requirements are ultimately the way to
make this work. I think we need to take the fight away from 508 for a
second and ask what is going to hit home for the trenches. I for one am
very interested in a11y and designing for it, but there is no one out there
in my profession that I would blame for not wanting to work on a11y.

One of the worst quotes I heard recently was "Accessibility is a journey,
not a destination." When I think about how that translates to a project
manager's brain - I cringe. It doesn't exactly make a designer or
developer jump up and down either. And yet, when I look at the moving
target that 508 is pursuing, that quote resonates a little too much for my

So, my question is - can anyone think of a compelling reason (non "bleeding
heart", mind you) that would attract the attention necessary to change in
the development community from 508 measures to a11y version-ing?


On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 8:52 PM, Jared Smith < <EMAIL REMOVED> > wrote:

> On Mon, Nov 28, 2011 at 6:34 PM, Ryan Hemphill wrote:
> > In the case of 508's internet
> > protocol, I think it will 'never come to market' in terms of keeping up
> > with internet technologies and this bothers me a great deal.
> I agree. I fear that when the guidelines are finalized, they'll
> already be terribly irrelevant and out-of-date. If future updates
> occur at the rate this one has, we'd then be looking at 2025 before we
> see another update to Section 508.
> > I look at the
> > ARIA spec and I see some serious problems there too.
> While the W3C process is also slow, do consider that ARIA isn't even
> yet a finalized spec. Despite this, it already has good (and
> continually improving) support in most modern web technologies. And
> the next version of ARIA is already in development.
> > Is there any way to get things like section 508 and even the ARIA spec to
> > really translate into more of a 'living document' or a software version?
> > Has there been any interest in that idea?
> This approach just doesn't work well in the standards realm, and fails
> altogether in the legal arena. However, this is precisely how
> developers and vendors need to view true accessibility requirements.
> Technology and accessibility requirements are constantly shifting
> (even WCAG 2.0 has a few elements I think are in need of change
> already). We need to be responsive to these changes so we provide
> optimal accessibility rather than merely compliance to a set of
> guidelines.
> Jared